Brian Hightower announced his commitment to Miami a few weeks ago.
What to like: Hightower checked into a recent Nike Camp at 6-foot-2.5 and 202 pounds. He's a very physically mature kid and from that standpoint he looks like a college wide receiver right now. He plays a physical style, which creates a lot of mismatches against smaller cornerbacks on the perimeter. He has a large catch radius and good leaping ability and should become a legitimate red zone threat early in his college career. He makes catches over the middle and in traffic. He put his name on the recruiting map as a sophomore at Calabasas High in Los Angeles when he caught 71 passes for 1,344 yards and 14 touchdowns. He transferred to IMG Academy for his junior season and while playing with several other Division 1 receivers and in an offense that doesn't throw the ball as much, he still caught 13 for 366 and four scores. Playing at IMG, Hightower is used to being in a winning and competitive environment and that should help prepare him well for the next level.
What may concern you: It's hard to find any holes in this kid's game since he's nearly the total package. He's never run track in high school and has never run a verified 40 at a Nike Camp so it's hard to tell how fast he really is. Sure, averaging over 20 yards per catch is impressive but he doesn't seem to run away from people like some receivers do at the prep level. He appears to be in the 4.55 range over 40 yards.
Bottom Line: Most players who attend IMG Academy aren't from the state of Florida. Instead, they move in and live in dorms with other student athletes there -- almost like a college atmosphere. In this case, Hightower is from the LA area. It's encouraging for Miami to know that even before moving to Florida he took unofficial visits to schools like USC, UCLA, and Washington. That means he already knows all about them, making it less likely that he would flip later in the year to go back to be closer to home. Since moving to Florida, Hightower has already taken visits to schools like Florida, Florida State, and Clemson. He's already gone through the recruiting process in a lot of ways so it seems unlikely that he'd later flip to a school he saw for the first time.
Hightower has offers from nearly everyone, including USC, Alabama, FSU, and Ohio State. He's being recruited like one of the premier wide receiver prospects in the whole country. He will be catching passes this fall from recent UM commitment Artur Sitkowski. Hightower is one of 13 UM commitments in the 2018 class and is one of two wide receivers on that list. Hightower is one of the top wide receiver prospects to commit to Miami in several years and has the ability to come in and make a big early impact like Ahmmon Richards did in 2016.